Rare dog breeds are those that you wouldn’t normally see at the dog park.
The kind of dogs that make you jump and point with excitement when you notice one around town.
But there are downsides to being an unusual dog.
And to owning one too!
Rare dogs can look very similar to some other more popular breeds, or they can be unusual and exotic in appearance.
Rare Dog Breeds
These breeds make more unusual pets, which you are unlikely to bump into on an average day!
They are guaranteed to turn heads and get you noticed.
These dogs’ rare status doesn’t mean that they don’t make great pets or working companions, but it does raise some important health questions.
Small Gene Pools
There is an elephant in the room when it comes to rare breeds.
Because by its very nature, rare means infrequent.
And healthy populations have healthy population sizes.
This reduces the chances of related individuals breeding.
Something that is full of risks.
Rare Breed Health
And an increased chance of deformities and other related problems.
One way to get around this is to choose a puppy from a breeder that has carefully calculated the coefficient of inbreeding for the litter.
To make a good coefficient of inbreeding, you need to make sure that the parental lines don’t have any dogs in common.
You can achieve this in some rare breeds by importing dogs from other countries.
This is a method commonly used by zoos to keep their rare species from becoming too inbred in captivity.
But it is also used by breeders of domesticated pets too, with lots of success.
A breed that’s rare in one country might not be so rare in another location too.
Giving you a bigger gene pool to choose from.
Another way to improve the gene pool of rare breeds is outcrossing.
This is something that gets a very mixed reception.
Breed purists want to keep rare breeds exactly as they have been designed.
Which is a fine aim, but only if you are able to do so without compromising the members of that breed’s health.
And even the fastidious kennel clubs have a few breeds that they allow controlled outcrossing of!
Either because they have become so rare we are at risk of losing them altogether, or because they have a persistent and concerning health issue that needs urgently tackling.
Buying a first generation mix between a rare breed and another more common, health tested, parent can produce lovely puppies.
Just make sure you are happy with the appearance and temperament of both parent breeds.
Mixed breed puppies are totally unpredictable and can be more like one parent or the other. Or a combination of the two!
Caring For Rare Dog Breeds
Most dog breeds need a similar style of care.
They need you to be home for a large portion of the day, provide them with nutritious food and plenty of exercise.
And of course make sure that they are trained in at least the basics, through kind and positive methods.
Positive training is all about rewarding the behavior you like, rather than punishing behavior you don’t.
It’s great for any dog, but perfect for rare dog breeds that might not be as naturally relaxed or could have stronger guarding tendencies than some more popular pets.
These methods also help to forge a really strong bond between dog and owner.
If you are choosing a rare dog breed you are limiting the puppy options available to you.
You’ll need to wait longer for a puppy, and might struggle to be as picky when they do come up.
But things like temperament are still really important.
With rare breed puppies focus on helping your dog to feel relaxed and become a friendly member of the family.
Best Rare Dog Breeds
The best rare dog breeds are those that make great pets, and that have good basic health.
To make one of these breeds into a happy healthy pet, make sure you pick a breeder that has made a big effort to keep their coefficient of inbreeding as low as possible.
That has used health tested parents with good dispositions, and raised the puppies with socialization as a priority.
Have you ever met any of these rare breeds? Let us know your experiences in the comments section below!